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Former Bear Shaun Gayle joins parade of concussion lawsuits

gaylex-large AP

Add former Bears safety Shaun Gayle to the rolls of players suing the NFL, accusing the league of failing to properly diagnose head injuries.

Gayle said in the lawsuit, reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, that he now suffers from symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

“Following his retirement from the NFL, Shaun Gayle suffers from headaches, occasional short-term memory loss and other cognitive deficits associated with CTE,” the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court states.

The suit also list helmet-maker Riddell as a defendant, saying he wasn’t given adequate protection.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the suit had “no merit.”

“The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so,” McCarthy told the Sun-Times in an e-mail. “Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit. It stands in contrast to the league’s actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”

According to a database compiled by the Washington Times, more than 2,500 players have sued the league on similar claims.

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7 Responses to “Former Bear Shaun Gayle joins parade of concussion lawsuits”
  1. swingondeesenuts says: Jul 11, 2012 4:16 PM

    While I agree that the NFL should have done more to protect the players when possible, the more the case is brought to the light, the more it looks like a money grab by washed up and/or greedy ex-players looking for one more payday.

    EVERYONE knows football is dangerous. NOBODY made these guys play. They CHOOSE to play. What’s next, boxers sueing because they didn’t know getting punched in the head was dangerous? Or how about firemen sue because the didn’t know fire could burn you?

    The league needs to set up a better fund to take care of retired players who are now injured but this lawsuit is becoming a joke at this point.

  2. fdugrad says: Jul 11, 2012 4:30 PM

    ‘ The suit has no merit.” I have to agree with Mr. McCarthy. Clearly world class, finely tuned, large, muscular people with the force of speeding bullets smashing into one another over many years couldn’t possibly cause damage to the human body, especially to the brain. Let’s recall the hard-shelled helmet that protects is also ” the tip of the spear ” when used as something to bring down another gladiator on the gridiron. Indeed, ” NO MERIT!!”

  3. glen1904 says: Jul 11, 2012 5:29 PM

    for years the NFL has been keeping it a secret from these players that football is a violent contact sport, its like 5yrs ago when I broke my back, the airline never told me I had a back and it could break. they should pay me too for that!

  4. pftfollower says: Jul 11, 2012 5:39 PM

    So by your logic, if a snowboarder is paralyzed at the Winter X Games because he crashed trying a double back flip 40 feet of the ground, he would be well within his rights to sue the event for putting him in that dangerous position.

    The league should do more for former players, that is true. But this lawsuit seems to be more about (not all cases but majority) guys who can’t find success after football, and are hurting for money.

    They knew what they were doing then, modern players know even better now. Are guys retiring, or calling out for change? No. They are using their union to oppose every rule change designed to reduce these injuries. These same guys that are suing, if they were playing right now would be doing they same. Playing the game anyway and fighting the safety changes.

    This lawsuit provides two things, an excuse for why they squandered their money or can’t earn more and a chance at some cash.

  5. davidly says: Jul 11, 2012 5:52 PM

    I feel bad for Gayle, as well as Duerson’s family. But he’d better put himself to use by just raising awareness, and he won’t do that by losing a law suit.

    The players, especially the defensive backs, should know that they are racking their brains, literally. Quarterback What’s-his-name was right: You’d be a irresponsible parent not to discourage your child from playing this game.

  6. londonbengal says: Jul 11, 2012 6:11 PM

    Shaun Gayle regularly appears on ‘Sky’ TV over here in England as a well respected NFL ‘colour’ commentator.

    Guy seems pretty switched on to me.

  7. azblackbird says: Jul 11, 2012 7:31 PM

    I hate to sound cold, but I am growing weary of the “poor me” stories coming from former NFL players.
    Eighty percent of my friends and acquaintances suffer form chronic headaches, memory loss of some sort and none of them played in the NFL. Since all of these men also played Pop Warner, High School and college ball, doesn’t it seem reasonable to include those institutions in the suit? Not going to happen. Anyone who gets paid to perform physical work in a high risk field has to be aware of what may result. The fact that these men did so from an early age, over a long period of time, ample time in fact to measure the effects of their participation seems to me to obviate the suit. In short — you get what you (are) paid for.

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